The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is a program initiated by the Jerusalem church leaders and the World Council of Churches to accompany Palestinians and Israelis in their non-violent efforts to bring about an end to the occupation and a resolution to the conflict. Two of the stated objectives are to express solidarity with Palestinian and Israel peace activists and empower local Palestinian communities/churches and to be an active witness that an alternative, non-violent struggle for justice and peace is possible to end the illegal occupation of Palestine.
The news from Israel/Palestine region seems full of hopelessness, especially when we hear stories of the struggles of individuals crossing military checkpoints, killings, and bombings daily. Since the Israeli occupation in June 1967 of the West Bank and Gaza, both Israelis and Palestinians experience loss of life and a limited freedom. A great number of Palestinians and Israelis believe that ending the occupation is the place to begin to discover a peaceful and just resolution to the conflict in the region.
EAPPI offers opportunities for individuals to become “Ecumenical Accompaniers” -- to live a three-month term with our Christian and Muslim Palestinian and Israeli partners involved in peace and justice in Israel and Palestine. Ecumenical Accompaniers are expected to monitor and report human rights and international humanitarian violations, thus offering protection through a non-violent presence. When the Ecumenical Accompaniers return to their home communities in the US, they continue advocacy efforts, speaking in churches and other public places.
Our ecumenical partners in Europe are sending Accompaniers ten-to-one over the United States. Considering the United States role in the peace process and historical support for Israel, more Americans are needed to volunteer in this effort.
One way to increase the number of American volunteers for the Ecumenical Accompanier program is to lessen the burden of financial expenses related to this commitment to live and work overseas. Expenses related to this program include roundtrip transportation, living expenses, and medical insurance.